ITB Asia underway in world’s largest travel market

ITB Asia underway in world’s largest travel market

Asia Pacific has become the world’s largest travel market and is expected to reach US$351.9 billion this year according to industry research authority, PhoCusWright.

These latest figures were released today at the sixth edition of ITB Asia, ‘The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market’, which takes place at the Suntec Singapore Exhibition & Convention Centre until Friday.

Backed by the emergence of economic powerhouses, especially China, India and Southeast Asia, the region has confirmed itself as one of the driving forces in world travel and has set another all-time high record.

The Asia Pacific travel market ousted Europe to become the world’s biggest regional travel market in 2012, earning gross bookings of $326.2 billion and the impressive figure is expected to grow another 8% in 2013.

The positive growth numbers on the travel market are reflected at this year’s show as ITB Asia also reports a strong showing of 825 exhibiting companies from 73 countries.

The show completely sold out four months ahead with many exhibitors increasing their presence.

“The show has evolved tremendously from when it first made its debut in 2008 and has now gained an even greater international dimension. Now that Asia Pacific has taken the crown as the world’s largest travel market, it becomes even more critical for us to maintain our position as an effective platform to network and gain insights about the region’s travel market.

“Our partners rely on us to gain up-to-the-minute overview of the Asian travel industry’s value chain to stay at the forefront of trends and developments,” said Christian Göke, chief executive Messe Berlin, organiser of ITB Asia.

Nations represented among the record 50 international pavilions includes first time exhibitors Greece and Russia, clear evidence of the importance that these key emerging players place on ITB Asia as a gateway to the Asian travel market.

This year’s show also sees the largest representation ever from the United States taking up an increase of 90 per cent of booth space with 30 per cent more exhibitors compared to 2012.

Exhibitors from Europe have also taken 20 per cent more floor space this year and there are almost 60 per cent more first time exhibitors representing emerging markets in 2013.

More important than the number of delegates, ITB Asia maintains its strong focus on ensuring a well-balanced mix of geographical markets and sectors such as MICE, leisure, and corporate travel to uphold the quality of buyer-seller experience.

ITB Asia 2013 is seeing a stronger focus on the MICE sector this year.

The business travel segment has more than doubled in 2013 compared to last year and representation from Conference and Meeting venues has also tripled since 2012.

The PhocusWright study also reveals projected growth figures for the countries within the Asia Pacific region over the next three years led by China, Japan and the Pacific region.